Howard’s Technical Writing Blog

A technical writer’s miscellany

Archive for February, 2010

Easier Folder Access

Posted by Howard Silcock on 13 February 2010

I don’t know about you, but when I’m working on a large Windows network, I find it frustrating to hunt through hierarchies of folders on different drives, looking for  folders buried many layers down. I wanted to set up my environment so I could go straight to each key folder and display its contents. And, since I may need the folder open several times a day, I wanted it to open a certain way—generally in a dual-pane Explorer view, with the navigator pane not the Windows Explorer task pane) on the left. I prefer some folders to open maximised and others—usually smaller ones—to open neither maximised nor minimised. So I experimented and  fiddled around, and eventually I found a suitable set-up. (This is all described in terms of a Windows XP environment.)

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The Technical Editor’s Blacklist

Posted by Howard Silcock on 12 February 2010

My original idea for this blog was to include some material that I’d already published elsewhere on the web, so it would be collected in one place. However, I now realise that that’s not always going to work, simply because of the limitations of the blogging software. Some of my web-based material makes use of JavaScript, which is simply not allowed by WordPress.

One example is the Technical Editor’s Blacklist, which I developed a few years ago from joint work carried out with Barbara Jones and Diana Muzrimas. Both Barbara and I still refer to this for our own work and I’ve also mentioned it to others and got useful feedback and suggestions. I haven’t done much to maintain it recently, but I still stand by its recommendations and hope it may be useful to others. It uses a tabbed interface that relies heavily on JavaScript.

Have a look—and let me know if you have any suggestions for improving it.

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Welcome!

Posted by Howard Silcock on 11 February 2010

Thank you for visiting my blog.

My hope for this blog is that, if you have an interest in some aspect of technical writing, there’s at least a chance that you’ll find something here that may be of interest—either some insight into the day-to-day concerns of a technical writer, or some useful reference information, or who knows what else. I aim to avoid simply giving you my opinions or a blow-by-blow account of my daily dramas and instead to provide at least something to think about. Another reason for creating this blog was well summed up by another Australian tech writer and blogger Rhonda Bracey: to prop up a dodgy memory! I have been thinking of a number of pieces of information that might go down well here and also serve that purpose.

Of course, all these aims remain to be realised at this stage.

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